The Best Juggler Wins – The Tale of Six Rocks 1

images (18)Forget about living a balanced lifestyle. I don’t believe there is such a thing. But you can keep your life in balance by learning to juggle. Pretend for a moment that you are juggling six rocks; health, wealth, relationships, volunteerism, brain and hobby. Each rock is important, some rocks may be more important than others at times,  but the secret to creating a balance in your life is to make sure you spend some of your time nurturing each rock. The key is not to spend too much time on one rock, at the expense of ignoring another, because that may put you out of balance. Sometimes too much of a good thing is not a good thing. We all have 168 hours in the course of a week – no more or no less. Your challenge is to schedule your time effectively and efficiently so that you spend some of your time on each rock. You don’t need to spend an equal amount of time on each, but you need to spread it around.

Worth Remembering … “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton 

The best juggler wins a life that is in balance and as close to perfect as you can get.

Health: You need to take care of yourself. You need to eat right, exercise right and sleep right. If you aren’t right – then what’s the point.
Wealth: Yes your career is important – it affords you the money you need to be able to live the kind of life you envisioned for yourself and your family. But don’t sacrifice one for the other. When the time comes to reap the benefits of your hard work, you’ll want someone to share it with.
Relationships: We are emotional beings. We need to “connect” with others. Reach out – when you show an interest in others, others will show and interest in you. People like to work with and do business with people they like.
Volunteerism: Give back. Paying it forward is a great way to  build up your self-esteem and self-esteem in others. It’s the law of attraction. You get back what you give out.
Brain: Never stop learning. The moment you think you have nothing else to learn is the moment you fall behind. Your brain is a muscle. It needs exercise.
Hobby: You need to schedule “Me” time. You need to be able to step back from your day-to-day activities and recharge your batteries. Find something you enjoy doing other than the work that you do, and spend some of your time doing it. Lighten up – have some fun.

Worth Remembering … “Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday – some.” – Robert Fulgham 

How you manage your time is how you manage your life. Learn to juggle because the best juggler wins.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speeches and facilitating workshops on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, time management, coping with stress, problem solving, dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better and developing the leader in you. To find out what he can do for you visit. http://briansmithpld.com

Trust Matters – Without It You Have Nothing 3

Trust 2People won’t trust anyone they don’t respect first. Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought, “Oh, yuck – What a dink”? (And I don’t mean Double Income No Kids.) You didn’t know why – you just knew that there was something about that person you didn’t like. But, after you spent some time with them, and got to know them better, did you ever change your mind? Building relationships and establishing trust with the people you work with and interact with is crucial to your overall success as a manager and business leader. Trust matters – Without it you have nothing. Once you lose the trust and confidence of your team mates – you lose your ability to manage and lead them.

Worth Remembering … “If you want to be interesting – you first must be interested.” – Dale Carnegie

Trust and respect do not come automatically just because you’ve been given a title. You must earn both, one person at a time. Establishing trust between you and the people you work with is a 3-step process that I refer to as the 3 R’s – Rapport, Relationships and Respect. It’s a process that everyone must go through when meeting someone for the very first time. Some people will go through these steps more quickly than others. But it’s a journey that everyone has to go on. A close friend of mine is great at this. She can meet someone for the very first time and within minutes they are carrying on a conversation as if they have known each other for ever. People just naturally open up to her. She is also great at remembering names. (I have to admit I’m not so good at this) Think how powerful it would be if you could remember someone’s name, their children’s names, their birthdays and interests and you were able to remember them and use it in a conversation.

The 3 R’s – Building Relationships to Last

Step One: Rapport.  The first step is to build rapport. Find out something about the other person other than the job that they do. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like to do in their spare time? You need to be able to carry on a conversation with them on a subject that they enjoy talking about. Idle chit-chat is important if you want to develop rapport. You can’t take the next step without first establishing rapport.

Step Two: Relationships. The second step in establishing trust with the people you work with and interact with are relationships. Successful salespeople understand the value of building relationships with their clients. They understand that people choose to do business with people they like. The same holds true for the people on your team. People like to work with and hang out with people they like. No one wants to let a friend down. A recent Gallop survey revealed that companies with less than 10 employees or small teams within the organization have the most committed workers.

Step Three: Respect. The final step in establishing trust is respect. Always keep in mind that people won’t respect anyone they haven’t built a relationship with first. Respect is reciprocal. Try this little experiment. The next time you go into a shopping mall or office building that has a double set of doors – open the first set of doors for the people behind you. I will bet you that someone within that group will hold the second door open for you. Respect works the same way. If you give it – you’ll get it – but you must give it first.  People feel obligated to return the favor. It’s part of our DNA.

Worth Remembering … “Trust is to human relationships what faith is to gospel living.” – Barbara Smith

If you have navigated the 3-step process successfully you will be able to establish trust in your relationship with your team. Without mutual trust and respect, your team will abandon you and you will eventually fail. You might be able to bully them into doing things they don’t want to do in the short-term but, it will come around to bite you in the end. (Pun intended) What goes around comes around. Having trouble establishing trust? Try my 3-step process and let me know how things work out. – 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or training session on soft-skills or leadership development? DM me – Let’s talk. briansmithpld@gmail.com or visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.

Who Said Your Life Would Be Perfect?

PerfectRepeat after me – “There is no such thing as perfect – there is no such thing as perfect – there is no such thing as perfect”. Besides, perfect is over rated anyhow. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be good enough. The most important person in your life is you. Don’t worry about trying to please anyone else. If it’s good enough for you – it’s good enough. If it’s good enough for you – then you don’t need to change a thing. However, if you aren’t living the life you envisioned for yourself, then you need to stop talking, quit complaining and do something about it. You either have to change it – or change the way you are thinking about it. You are responsible for you. You are responsible for your own happiness. In the words of Larry Winget, “The Pit-bull of Personal Development” , your life is your own damn fault.

Worth Remembering … The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow is the `Buts`you use today.

Take out a blank piece of paper and write a description of what a perfect life would look like to you. After you have done that – what things would have to happen for you to be able to live that life? Don’t generalize, be specific. To live the prefect life I would have to: Earn X amount of money per year, move to a  warmer climate, get married and have two children. What ever would have to happen for you to live your perfect life, take a moment and write it down. Now I know the list looks daunting, and you might be thinking that there is no way you can accomplish all of that. But trust me, you would be wrong. You would be selling yourself way to  short. If it’s worth dreaming about it – then it’s worth doing something about it. Wishing and hoping won`t make it so. Life – your life – is a planned event. So get busy! Put a plan together and start working that plan.

Worth Remembering … Once the what has been decided – the how will surely follow.  

I know I’m making it sound pretty simple. But, it really is about writing down your goals and then accomplishing them, one goal at a time. Remember.  a journey of a 1000 miles starts with the first step. You took the first step when you wrote down what your perfect life would look like. You took the first step when you listed all the things that would have to happen for you to live your perfect life. You took the first step when you wrote out your plan. Now it’s time for you to take the next step and start to work your plan. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be good enough. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for speaking engagements, lunch-n-learns and seminars. Contact Brian today. He will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Email: briansmithpld@gmail.com. To find out more visit http://briansmithpld.com